Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Gardens at the Back Bay Inn

 Earlier this week I made a  brief but  mentally required road trip to the California central coast area . The central coast is an obvious transition  between Northern and  Southern California; for the plant-centric among us the differences are easy to see. Our hills began to shed their green winter finery and don the golden brown of summer the further south I traveled. Thanks to a recommend from the Mulch Maid , I booked a few nights at the Back Bay Inn , a  small casual establishment  on the quiet south end of Morro Bay. Besides the attraction of being right on the water , this inn had a lovely small garden with a compelling plant palette that framed the view of the water from my 2nd floor balcony. 

 This Agave has seen better days .

 Looks like there is some new planting to do !

 The little boardwalk takes the stroller past the resting Kayaks and through the garden.

Some nice well-grown specimens; cacti and succulents thrive in this frost-free and relatively low rainfall climate.

 As do South African and Australian cultivars.

The poodled-up trees are unfortunately Melaleucas that are headed back to allow the the balconies an unobstructed view. Since I was in fact on a balcony I selfishly mentally approved of this otherwise unacceptable pruning device.

 On the inland side of the building , grasses , Salvias and Gaillardias provide another punch of color, I expect these are likely to bloom almost year round here.

 While I was gone -3.5 days - all my weeds grew 10 feet. Or so it seemed.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Late Bloomer-The Roses

  At this late date I'm not going to attempt to make this an 'official' Bloomday post. Instead I have been taking the odd rose shot as time permits this month . This morning I was up early getting a few more photos and a camera malfunction (which turned out to be operator error) obliterated my shots. So I'm going with what I've got !

 At one time I  had over 70 roses in my garden. I collected them and when I wanted another I ripped out whatever I had to to make room. My collection has been edited for various reasons; duplicates, disease, and modern roses that sometimes decline or sucker so heavily that Dr Huey takes over.I think I am down to about 30.  Last year I considered removing one (Honey Perfume) that had become so attractive to rose curculio that most of the blooms were ruined. I gave it one more year and used a very draconian method of control that involved sacrificing an entire spring bloom flush. It seems to have worked.I haven't planted a new rose in several years, but I want Lady Hillingdon desperately  so am strategizing a location. Here then are a few that have made the cut.

Golden Celebration is an David Austin rose with a buttery yellow petal packed flower. Though classified as a shrub ,it grows quite large in the Norcal climate and should definitely not be considered for the 'front row' of the border.

A few shots here of the 1909 hybrid 'Gruss an Aauchen' , in some camps alleged to be the 1st floribunda. I love this rose so much that I tolerate the horrible rust and blackspot that comes on in spring, and spend the time to strip off the bad foliage and cut it back hard for a summer re-bloom.

This is the David Austin rose 'Molineux.' It never stops blooming, it never gets diseased,  and the only negative  can think of is that it only holds up a couple days in a vase.

'Brass Band' is a Jackson Perkins floribunda from 1993. Cast iron.

Jean Giono is a Romantica rose ,the  French house of Medillands' answer to the David Austin roses. Sometimes you will see it classified as a Hybrid Tea, sometimes as a shrub rose. The vein-y petals are my favorite feature.

'Prospero' another excellent David Austin selection, but good luck finding it. It was hard to locate when I bought it way back in the 90'  when roses were more popular and rose nurseries were plentiful.

Lets finish up with 'Eden' aka 'Pierre Ronsard' the worst rose for disease (primarily blackspot) in my garden. It has received an annual stay of execution consistently for years-there is just nothing quite like it and so it stays.  See this post for more diva shots.